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Editor, The Beacon:

I suppose it’s a testament to the power of relentless, well-funded right-wing propaganda — I’m looking at you, Fox News, Breitbart, PragerU and more — that The Beacon would run an article about fears for the economy under a Democratic administration. But it was the Republican administration of Herbert Hoover that brought us the Great Depression in 1929, and the Democratic administration of Franklin Roosevelt that brought us out of it and ushered in an era of unprecedented prosperity for working people.

The Republicans finally managed to reverse course in 1981 under Ronald Reagan. They crippled the unions and turned the economy back over to Wall Street speculators, who resumed their amassing and hoarding of wealth at the expense of working people.

Even so, Democratic President Bill Clinton presided over a series of hardly ever seen federal-budget surpluses in fiscal years 1998-2001. Then, Republican President George Bush blew it all on the Gulf War and tax cuts for the wealthy, and brought on the Great Recession in 2008. That’s what made my retirement savings disappear.

The Democrats under Barack Obama got us (and my retirement savings) back on the road toward recovery, in spite of congressional Republican foot-dragging. The Republican Donald Trump made sure most of the economic growth he inherited from Obama went to the wealthy and large corporations. Meanwhile, 40 percent of Americans are one paycheck away from bankruptcy, and 67 percent of bankruptcies are due to medical expenses.

Joe Biden’s plan proposes the same measures that brought us out of the Great Depression and the Great Recession: government support for low- and middle-income people, who spend their money and keep the economy healthy instead of hoarding it offshore or buying back their own stock and, yes, he would raise taxes — on wealthy corporations, several of which famously have paid zero taxes in recent years, and on wealthy individuals (that’s why billionaires pour money into right-wing propaganda).

But he would increase tax deductions or credits for senior workers, families with children, and first-time homebuyers.

Of course I’ve given a very simplified black-and-white account and made some unkind assumptions about rich people’s motives. But the takeaway from credible economic analyses (one detailed and helpful site is https://www.thebalance.com/us-economy) is that in general, the economy does better under Democratic leadership.

Stephen Tonjes



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